Nutrition Knowledge and Parental Schooling as Inputs to Child Nutrition in the Long and Short Run
Drawing on a large household survey in rural Central Java, Indonesia, we address the functional distinction between formal education and nutrition knowledge. Applying parametric and nonparametric techniques to household data from rural Indonesia the study finds that: 1) Mothers' nutrition knowledge has a strong, positive impact on child nutrition in the short-term (weight-forheight), controlling for mother's education and income; 2) by contrast, formal schooling dominates nutrition knowledge in determining child anthropometric outcomes in the longer run (height-for-age); 3) to the extent that maternal education contributes to shorter-run child outcomes its effects are meditated through nutrition knowledge; and, 4) paternal education contributes independently to long-run (but not short-run) child nutrition. The results suggest a potentially large role for nutrition education in combating child malnutrition in poor countries with limited schooling infrastructure and/or limited access to education by the very poor.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2003|
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